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BEV BUTULA: DRAGNET

The New York Law School library offers a very interesting tool called DRAGNET. DRAGNET stands for “Database Resource Access using Google’s New Electronic Technologies.” DRAGNET searches from only a select group of free law related websites that have been reviewed by the school’s librarians such as LexisONE, Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, Thomas, Justia, Oyez.org and the National Archives. Per the website, “[t]he sites were chosen by our Library staff for their reliability and utility to legal researchers.”

Starting your search in DRAGNET can help eliminate irrelevant results and provide a nice set of base materials. Results can be further narrowed by choosing a specific tab – Recent, New York websites, Federal websites, and International websites. As an example, I ran a search for “Rule 26 spoliation hard drive.” Selecting the “Recent” tab, I retrieved a variety of new case law and commentary that was on point.

The New York Law School also offers the DRAGNET technology to search constitutions and codes. This search “tracks the constitutions, administrative rules and legislative codes of 50 states and the Federal Government.” The material searched varies based on the particular State. For example, DRAGNET includes Connecticut Statutes, Constitution, and Regulations but only searches Wisconsin’s Constitution. Even with this limitation, it may be good launching point to see how other states handle a particular issue.

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